Small cracks in concrete are hard to avoid. These tiny fissures are no immediate threat to safety, but they can affect a building’s durability: water seeping in can corrode reinforcements, for example. Millions of euros could be saved every year in maintenance if concrete could be designed to repair itself. EU researchers are working on it.
Fire-resistant protection is essential for structures made of light steel, such as industrial buildings, warehouses, houses, garages and containers. The standard solution is intumescent paint, which swells up when heated to form a protective layer for the metal.
The SteelProst project has used nanotechnology to develop a second-generation intumescent paint with enhanced fire resistance and mechanical properties, thus providing substantial advantages over existing coatings.
Picture a chemical plant. How would you describe it? You’re probably not thinking along the lines of compact, nimble or adaptable – but that's about to change. Europe's chemical industry is innovating in order to survive and thrive in the face of rapidly changing market demands and fierce global competition.
New technologies will enable the industry to manufacture products faster, more flexibly and more sustainably, and EU-funded research is providing the solutions.
The promise of 3D printing has many of us spellbound, and indeed the ability to conjure up objects on demand could completely change our lives. In homes, offices and workshops around the world, this revolution is only just beginning – mainly with equipment designed for small-scale production at a leisurely pace.
Just think what could be achieved with fast, high-precision printers built for large-scale manufacturing, such as those developed by the EU-funded PHOCAM project.
Maintenance and repair work in the aeronautics and construction industries can be both time-consuming and dangerous, which is why an EU project is developing robots that are a cost-effective way to get the job done without exposing workers to potential harm.